Many people immediately think of alcohol when they hear that someone has been arrested for DUI. However, there are a great many drivers who are charged with DUI who are accused of being driving under the influence of drugs, not alcohol. Drugs – both illegal and prescription – can affect a driver’s brain chemistry, interfering with the driver’s motor skills, perception, attention, reaction time, and judgment. Consequently, drugged driving is against the law.
DUI Testing for Drugs
Illinois law prohibits a driver from driving while under the influence of drugs. In order to test for the presence of drugs in a driver’s system, law enforcement usually needs to obtain a blood or urine test from the driver to detect what drug or drugs are in their system.
There are certain requirements those tests must meet in order to be introduced as evidence against the driver. Failure to meet those requirements could be grounds the driver’s defense lawyer could use to possibly get the charges dismissed. For example, if the driver was not given the opportunity to call an attorney prior to consenting to the test, that could be grounds for ruling the test results inadmissible.
If a driver is pulled over by a police officer, the officer can still use the same field sobriety tests that would be used if a driver of driving under the influence of alcohol. The standard field sobriety tests that police officers use are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand.
Searching the Vehicle
After a police officer arrests a driver for DUI, the officer may conduct a search of the defendant as they place him or her into custody. If this search reveals any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, the driver will most likely face additional charges, such as possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, in addition to the DUI charges.
Conviction for DUI in Illinois
Illinois penalties for DUI convictions are harsh. Even a first-time conviction carries the possibility of jail time because the crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. This means if you are convicted, in addition to the loss of your license, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties also include mandatory substance abuse classes and possibly drug rehabilitation.
Contact a Will and Grundy County Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI, you need a skilled Will County DUI defense lawyer advocating for you and ensuring your rights are protected. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation and find out how our firm can help.